Antarctic ozone hole’s effects may have spread much wider than thought.

Ozone loss over the South Pole might be the reason for a two-decade rise in early summer temperatures across southern Africa, according to research published today in Nature Geoscience1.

Desmond Manatsa, a climate scientist at Bindura University of Science in Zimbabwe, and colleagues analysed data sets of southern African climate from 1979 to 2010, covering the years before and after the development of the ozone hole over the Antarctic. They found that the size of the ozone hole seemed to influence wind patterns and triggered an upward shift in early summer temperatures.

Manatsa had been puzzled by the abrupt and seasonal increase in surface air temperatures in southern Africa. “The temperatures were actually significantly higher than those of other seasons and the rising assumed a shift rather than a slow and gradual manner,” he says. The warming did not match what he expected to see from greenhouse-gas emissions.

Continue reading the story in Nature

Image via sergioarosa on flickr.

Written by Hannah

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